Xuanji looked at Long Fei Li, his expression unchanging, but the gaze in his eyes seemed to deepen as his eyes fixed on her body and he said, “Then I’ll just look at you.”
As his words registered, Xuanji realized the state she was in and a shriek escaped her lips. She dived towards the bed and wrapped herself up with a blanket. Long Fei Li motioned towards the bed, towering over her, inching closer until she was pressed beneath him.
In the next instant, her foot shot out, kicking him off the bed.
Lights extinguishing, lying on the bed in the darkness, Xuanji turned her back towards the man on the floor. Quietly, she said, “Long Fei Li, promise me one thing, you mustn’t steal a glance at this.”
His sharp eyes fixed on her back…. Her secrets, he was determined to uncover but had she truly lost her memory, he wondered.
The following day.
As soon as the sun rose, Xuanji heard Long Fei Li rise and motioned towards her, whispering by her ear, “Xiao Qi, I’ll go see the Village Chief and ask him to send over some food, I’ll also ask physician Gong to come over to help with your medicine. Stay here and wait for my return.”
Still in sleepy daze, Xuanji pulled away, turning to her other side to continue sleeping.
Vaguely, she felt his lips on her forehead before hearing him head out.
Various voices issued outside the door. Seemingly he was greeting the villagers who had gone out to sea in the early morning.
Quickly, Xuanji fell back asleep.
It was uncertain how much time had passed when Xuanji awoke with a start and happened to see Song Ni placing plates of food on the table.
Xuanji was afraid she had nearly overslept….She quickly got up and moved over towards the table and began making conversation with Song Ni. Physician Gong stopped by and helped her change her bandages and apply medicine. After finishing her breakfast, she tried to pry some information from Song Ni, asking her about the village and how to enter and leave. Once she got her answer, she quickly found an excuse to send Song Ni away and quickly took off herself.
Although this fishing village was still a part of Taoyuan Prefecture, it was a remote place, located quite a distance away from the town of Taoyuan. Usually, villagers would travel to town to sell their catch at sea, but being that it was such a long trip, oftentimes the seafood they carried would get spoiled along the way.
With an injury yet to heal, Xuanji couldn’t walk very fast. After some time had passed, she stopped to take a look at her surroundings but found there was still an endless stretch of sea within sight.
As Xuanji continued down the road, the skies gradually grew dark.
She quickly realized how foolish she was. With her current injury, it was not the best time to make an escape. Though she had been careful last night during her bath, her wound had still gotten wet. Today, physician Gong had also reminded her to be more careful as the wound had yet to heal. As she bore with the pain and continued to walk forward, a hand suddenly tightened around her waist, pulling her into an embrace as a voice issued by her ear, “Why are you here?”
He’s already back?
Xuanji silently lamented in her heart as her mind raced to come up with a reply. Her eyes landed on the bags in his hands and she quickly changed the topic, asking, “What did you buy?”
“Why are you out here?” Long Fei Li repeated in a chilling voice.
If he were to find out the truth, her chances of escape would be gone. Mind racing, Xuanji wrapped her arms around him and said, “I came to find you.”
Normally, Long Fei Li would not have believed her words but she was nestled in his arms, returning his embrace. This was the first time she had taken the initiative to approach him since she had regained consciousness. His anger quickly dissipated as a rising wave of joy came over him.
“Didn’t I tell you I went out to find someone?”
“But I was afraid you wouldn’t come back, that you would leave me here all alone,” Xuanji said as she wondered how he could believe her lie so easily. Though it seemed she had fooled him, she was still feeling uneasy. He may not be competent in regards to daily life skills but she knew that he was no simple man by any means.
The softness of her tone flowed like water into his heart and Long Fei Li couldn’t help tightening his hold around her, lightly scolding, “How can that be?”
His words were of reprimand, but his tone was full of mirth. Xuanji secretly let out a sigh of relief and asked, “Did you find who you were looking for?”
“Hmm, they’ll come soon, in a day or two.”
Last night, Long Fei Li grew concerned about Xuanji’s injury and thought about how they were going to return to the Palace. He guessed that Long Zijin and the others must’ve searched along the area where they jumped off the cliff. They should’ve already reached the town, but the sea was vast and this village was located in a remote area. It would take quite a lot of effort to find this place. Besides his Purple Guards, he also had set up secret guard stations all across the country. After reaching the town of Taoyuan, he immediately made contact with a few of his spies in town and asked them to relay their whereabouts to Long Zijin and the others. While in town, he also bought some medicine for Xuanji and several sets of new clothes.
Hearing this, Xuanji quickly grew concerned and anxious. If his men were to find them, she would never be able to escape. Her first attempt had ended in failure but she was determined to try again. Gritting her teeth, she hugged Long Fei Li even tighter.
Sure enough, his breathing became a bit rugged as his warm breath issued by her ear.
“Long Feil Li,” Xuanji softly called.
“I like it here, can we stay for a few more days before we leave?”
“No, we need to get home. You need to have a procedure done to release the clot in your head,” Long Fei Li said. The injury on her shoulder had yet to heal but the more pressing matter was the clot in her head.
Xuanji secretly cursed underneath her breath. Closing her eyes, she got on her tiptoes and gently planted a kiss on his lips. Softly, she pleaded, “Just a few days, promise me, alright?”
With her taking the initiative, Long Fei Li grip on her waist tightened as he pulled her even closer. This time, he could no longer resist.
The bags in his hand slipped to the ground as his lips enveloped hers in a deep kiss.
When people from the village were returning from town, they saw their display of affection and quickly made haste to get home, their faces and ears red all over.
When Xuanji and Long Fei Li finally returned to the village, Xuanji was all smiles. He had promised her!
On the ground, their twinned shadows were stretched. Her hand was tightly held in his, the coldness of her fingers, like her mind was warmed by his, causing her heart to fill with a momentary joy and happiness.
“Long Fei Li, can you promise me one more thing?”
“Alright, I’ll come up and sleep tonight.”
The following morning, Xuanji and Long Fei Li got up early. Outside, the villagers had gathered by the sea. The young men of the village were packing their fishing gear and preparing to go to sea.
Seeing the two of them come out, the villagers were very excited to greet and converse with them. Amid the crowd, a young man smiled coldly.